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gh-MN straw bale-exterior

Straw-Bale Home in the Minnesota Woods

Jan 16, 2009 | North Branch, Minnesota

Like an old fashioned barn-raising, this home was built with many hands

Built before LEEDLeadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED for Homes is the residential green building program from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). While this program is primarily designed for and applicable to new home projects, major gut rehabs can qualify. and most green guideline programs existed, this largely straw-bale house in Minnesota established new building codes with its creation. Its biggest sustainable attribute may well be its collaborative approach.

CS-Tall Timbers front walk

Connecticut's First LEED Gold Home

Jan 13, 2009 | South Glastonbury, Connecticut

An Efficient Design and a Carefully Detailed Envelope Add up to Big Energy Savings

Craftsman bungalows are celebrated for being comfortable, practical and carefully crafted from local natural materials. This LEEDLeadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED for Homes is the residential green building program from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). While this program is primarily designed for and applicable to new home projects, major gut rehabs can qualify. Gold home in South Glastonbury, Connecticut, incorporates all of these qualities and more. To meet the homeowners' goal of creating an enjoyable and economical place to retire, CK Architects penned an attractive, efficient, and adaptable plan. A meticulously detailed building envelopeExterior components of a house that provide protection from colder (and warmer) outdoor temperatures and precipitation; includes the house foundation, framed exterior walls, roof or ceiling, and insulation, and air sealing materials., a discretely mounted photovoltaic(PV) Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow. array, and a ground-source heat pumpHome heating and cooling system that relies on the mass of the earth as the heat source and heat sink. Temperatures underground are relatively constant. Using a ground-source heat pump, heat from fluid circulated through an underground loop is transferred to and/or from the home through a heat exchanger. The energy performance of ground-source heat pumps is usually better than that of air-source heat pumps; ground-source heat pumps also perform better over a wider range of above-ground temperatures. keep the home affordable.

Do most older homes need weatherization?

Weatherization: Low-Cost, High-Return Energy Upgrades

Jan 11, 2009 | West Union, Iowa

Each year, Northeast Iowa Community Action Corporation (NEICAC) uses state funding to weatherize about 100 homes. On this 100-year-old two-story home, and others like it, weatherization crews have performed a variety of diagnostic tests and implemented low-cost, high-return strategies for improving overall energy efficiency — without extensive modifications.

This 2,500-square-foot home is typical for the area but larger than many of the houses in NEICAC's program. The work done on this house reduced air leakage by almost 50%.

cs-passive solar house in Duluth MN exterior

Passive House Methods Help Build for the Future

Jan 8, 2009 | Duluth, Minnesota

Energy Modeling and Integrated Design are Keys to Getting the Most Out of a Home

When Curt and Melissa hired Wagner Zaun Architecture to design a new home for their family, they had a clear goal: build a durable, adaptable home that uses as little energy as possible and has the smallest possible effect on the local and global environment. Designer Rachel Wagner brought in energy consultant Michael LeBeau of Conservation Technologies early to help achieve the project goals in the most integrated way possible.

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